Bye Bye Unifi, Hello Maxis Fibre!

Unifi broadband has been taking customers for granted. It charges higher fees & forces IPTV subscription upon subscribers. Maxis Fibre, riding on Unifi’s backbone for the “last mile” presents a better & cheaper alternative where internet speed of 30 Mbps is consistently provided.

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After a lot of considerations and patience with TM’s Unifi broadband internet service, the last straw snapped. After yet another “throttling & upgrade” ploy where we experienced a typical  slow down of internet speed follow by another call to “upgrade to 50 Megabits per second (from 30 Megabits per second) for RM10 extra”, we made up our minds to switch.

With the final RM15 bill paid, officially our Unifi subscription ended!

What was stopping the switch

  1. Change of broadband provider necessitates a change in telephone number. But our landline only rings at most once a week! Hardly anyone will reach for any of us via our landline. We doubt most of our contacts even know our landline numbers! Thus the change of landline telephone number is no longer a consideration for us.
  2. The fastest (and cheapest, bit by bit) provider, Time dotcom may come to our residential area. I had contacted Time a few times, they could not say if their service will ever reach my part of USJ (they are at USJ 9 business centre already). Thus we would have to rule out Time as a potential replacement for Unifi. This leaves just Maxis Fibre. And Maxis Fibre did not get a good review when it was launched.

What favoured the switch

  1. Maxis Fibre has been giving a good promotion. For the same speed of 30 Megabits per second (Mbps), the price differential between Unifi and Maxis Fibre is RM40 per month. With a price guarantee of 24 months, compared to Unifi, we will be saving close to RM1,000.
  2. Unifi which forces subscribers to pay a minimum of RM25 extra for HyppTV that is devoid of good channels and hence not viewed by most “forced subscribers”. Thus this not only adds extra to Unifi’s bill but the bad taste felt by subscribers for being taken for a ride (as opined by this author before) is the driver that pushes us to switch. Channels being taken out suddenly with no replacements are the norm.
  3. Bouts of “throttling followed by offer to upgrade” became too frequent and this ploy got stale. We hardly get internet speed that is anywhere near the 30 Mbps that we have paid for.
  4. The poor customer service of TM Unifi with no-follow up after complaints by subscribers like us is another push factor.

Anyone wishing to switch will need to do so soon. I was informed by the Maxis people that this promotion will end soon .

Maxis Fibre’s deal… any good?

We are getting the same package of 30 Mbps speed as our previous Unifi package. The internet speed tests have always turn in a good result which ranged from 20 Mbps to 32 Mbps (Downloading) and 7 Mbps to 31 Mbps (uploading). Maxis Fibre essentially is riding on Unifi’s backbone for the “last mile” to the customers. The difference… it could be that Maxis Fibre is not as congested as Unifi.

This speed was recorded at around 4 pm, much faster than we ever get from Unifi!

We do not have to be forced to pay for any IPTV that we do not need. This together with the higher price for the 30 Mbps deal of Unifi means we are paying RM40 less (if we put GST as “zero rated” for both players).

We are still getting a landline. And unlike Unifi’s phone service whose landline phone calls are free only for landline-to-landline calls, Maxis Fibre gives us free calls to all networks, including mobile phones numbers. Thus Maxis Fibre subscribers like us will not have to pay extra if we use the landline to call mobile phones.

In addition (though we have not yet found out how to activate this service), Maxis Fibre gives us free subscription to iflix video on demand service.

The router that came with MaxisFibre is modern and functional.

So far, the internet speed is good. The router that came with the package gives both a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz wifi channel. But for some reasons, devices like our security webcams that need to be logged into the network at all  times have issues with this router. Luckily we have another router for these devices to logged on to and this solved the problem.

How long more are we to be taken for a ride?

I sympathize with fellow Unifi subscribers who also subscribe to Astro’s satellite TV broadcast and like me, are forced to pay for an IPTV service that they clearly do not need. I think it is about time the Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) look into this unfair practice of TM. It is because TM has a sort of “captive” market where it provides the last-mile for most household’s internet service that it can afford to mistreat subscribers like me, forcing us to pay extra for IPTV, that we have no option to terminate,  providing substandard selection of channels and gets away with it.


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I was working on a WordPress project on my computer for a friend-cum-client on a hot afternoon very recently. Suddenly my mobile phone rang.
The caller ID showed that the call was from somewhere in the Klang Valley. I picked up my mobile phone. The conversation, conducted in Bahasa Malaysia went something like this:
“Mr. Chow, you are a current subscriber of Unifi internet service, correct?” asked the lady caller. She went on the identify herself as calling from Telekom Malaysia. I did not catch her name.
“Yup, I’ve been on Unifi since 2012,” I replied.
She then went on to try to sell me an “upgrade” to my current Unifi broadband internet service.
“It costs only RM10 for you to upgrade from your current 30 megabit package to 50 megabit,” the lady said.
“I don’t need an upgrade, I want to stop my subscription to UnifyTV because my contract is long over and I do not need this IPTV service and don’t want to pay for something I don’t use,” I replied firmly.
“Mr. Chow, you can’t. The IPTV subscription comes packaged with your Unifi broadband service, you just can’t detach it” she replied.
Needless to say, I was not too pleased with the information. There was no sale for her!

Can’t detach IPTV subscription from broadband’s

In fact 3 months before this, I did go and downgraded my IPTV subscription from RM50 per month (the “old” Jumbo pack) to the cheapest package of RM30. I wanted to terminate my IPTV service but I was told by the counter staff about the same thing – my broadband subscription is packaged with the IPTV subscription.
Consumers like me are shackled to an IPTV subscription that we do not want. In that occasion, after filing in my complaint of being forced to pay for a subscription where there was a periodic cancelling of channels with no replacement channels for my subscribed package (the latest incident happened in July 2017). I was told that someone “senior” from Unifi will call me to discuss the matter within three days, their “standard operating procedure”, I was told by the young man. Customer service is never TM’s strength. The call from this “senior” person, needless to say never materialized! I was none the wiser on the rationale for being shortchanged (sudden reduction of IPTV channels) and unable to detach the IPTV subscription.

Was told detaching IPTV possible at end of contract

I sympathize with fellow Unifi subscribers who also subscribe to Astro’s satellite TV broadcast and like me, are forced to pay for an IPTV service that they clearly do not need. Worse, there is no explanation from Unifi of why even after the initial contract is over that we still have to pay for something that we do not need? I was given the impression when I subscribed to Unifi in 2012 that upon the cessation of the initial contract, we would have the option to terminate our IPTV subscription. Clearly this has not been the case.
The stability and speed of my so called “broadband” internet can only be described as “patchy”. For a 30 megabit line, one would have expected a relatively stable bandwidth at all times. No such luck. Every evening, one of my security webcams will have its “status light” blinking. This means that it is working but having trouble connecting to the home wifi network. I doubt upgrading to 50 megabit will solve the problem.

No longer “shackled” to home phone number! Now can switch!

If not for the fact that I would have to live with a change in the home telephone number a few years back and the fact that Maxis broadband internet’s performance reputation near my neck of the woods is not stellar (in fact it is not much different from TM’s!), I would have switched already. Time dotCom which has been giving a much bigger bandwidth in Penang (where I lived for 2 years previously), if it eventually decides to make the effort to extend from USJ 6 to my neigbourhood of USJ 9, will surely get me as a subscriber. The house phone is seldom used anyway so it will not have much of a disruption if the telephone number is changed or if we do away with it altogether!

Will the power that be take action?

I think it is about time the Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) look into this unfair practice of TM. It is because TM has a sort of “captive” market where it provides the last-mile for most household’s internet service that it can afford to mistreat subscribers like me, forcing us to pay extra for IPTV, that we have no option to terminate, providing substandard selection of channels and gets away with it. None of the other two major competitors, Maxis and Time force their customers to pay for an IPTV package.

Stop thieves from stealing your Wi-Fi bandwidth

The writer shares his learning experience on tweaking his home’s broadband Wi-Fi routers, after experiencing problems with his home webcam which he traced to a lack of bandwidth. If you do not take steps to safeguard your Wi-Fi network from thieves you will always have bandwidth problems which will affect the internet experiences of legitimate users. That is despite you paying around RM150 – 200 a month for the service!

To safeguard our house, especially when I was living close to 450 km away in Penang (from 2015 – end of 2016), I installed a couple of low cost but very reliable Xiaomi Yi Smart Webcam which worked on our home Wi-Fi network. I could, using my smartphone in Penang, watch over the key areas of my house in USJ! In fact I liked this model so much that I bought over 10 of these to be put around my former college to ensure that key installations and key exits were “guarded”. It put the night security staff on “higher alert” as my team and I would be monitoring these webcams periodically using our smartphones and took necessary actions accordingly.

Difficulties for webcam to access home wi-fi network

Things went well on the homefront in USJ but we did face periodic break in webcams connection to the network. The problem got worse in the last 10 months and at times in the evening till late night, the webcams would be blinking (meaning the gadget was working but could not log onto the home wireless network). We blamed everything from the hardware to Xiaomi’s server (which I think serves as the relay for the access from our mobile phones). It was then that I realized that it could be that thieves (or at least a thief) was/were stealing our bandwidth and this was the cause of the blinking smart webcams. I went on a search to find ways to strengthen the security of my home Wi-Fi network.

I have Telekom Malaysia’s Unifi service since 2012 and thus when I searched for instructions to manage my D-Link DIR-615 router on Google, I got a lot of instructions, but all were for newer versions of routers with the same name. I do not know why D-Link is so lazy as to not name newer versions of the same hardware slightly differently. An addition “C” or “E” or whatever after “615” would have made life easier for users.

So all those instructions and Youtube videos on how to manage D-Link DIR 615 router that I Googled were useless to me. I had to do this by trial and error and I was on my own. So if you own an old orange coloured TM-issued D-Link DIR 615 router modem, this is for you!


If you have a router that is newer, then the information I have may not be fully applicable to you and you may still get instructions by Googling. But the principles are the same.

Gain access to administer the Wi-Fi router

For DIR-615, (and I think for most routers) the default to access the admin functions is just type in as the URL for your browser.

The “underbelly” of routers usually carry information on how to access the admin functions.

Change your Wi-Fi admin password

This should have been done by me in 2012 but I somehow missed this step. So the thieves around my neighbourhood could easily guess the default was “ “ (D-Link says, “leave the field blank”). The standard-issued username was of course “admin”.

While the firmware does not allow one to change the username from “admin”, one should change the admin’s password to something more complicated using combination of “spaces”, capital letters, numbers and special characters like “#” etc.

But if you have not changed the admin’s password on the onset, the thieves would have been able to settle in and still bypass your Wi-Fi password even you have, like I did, changed this to something more complicated. It is like having the front door locked but leaving the backdoor wide open!

This is how you can change the admin’s password on the old D-Link DIR-615 router (2012 vintage):


After you have logged in using the default admin access credentials….

Go to MAINTENANCE (among the top tabs) and you should be at Device Administration (on the left hand sidebar) by default. Change the admin’s password under “ADMIN PASSWORD” as shown above.

Change the Wi-Fi password

Although you would have put in a password when your Wi-Fi router was installed, like me, this could be a good few years back. It is necessary for this password to be changed! For the TM version of D-Link DIR-615 router, this can be done, relatively easily as follows:


From the “home” screen, go to SETUP and choose Wireless Setup on the left sidebar (as shown). You need to scroll down the screen to reach the sections of this screen that you want.


If you have more than one Wi-Fi router connected (including Wi-Fi extenders), you will need to look for MULTIPLE WIRELESS NETWORK SETTINGS. Under “Wireless Network Name” you should be able to find the names of the routers and you should choose the one that is given to DIR-615.

Next, go down one section to WIRELESS SECURITY MODE and at the drop down list, select “Enable WPA/WPA2 Wireless Security (enhanced)”.

Then move one section down to WPA/WPA2 and under “Network Key”, put in your new Wi-Fi access password. Do choose some phrases or names that are not common. You should also use a combination of UPPER CASE, lower case, special characters (like !@#$%) and numbers. Jot this down somewhere so that you need not remember this. But do remember where you have written down this new password!

Of course, your password is as strong as you are able to keep it a secret. If you or your family members share this password with the neighbourhood, sooner or later thieves will gain access and scrounge on your bandwidth!

So is there a way to NOT rely fully on Wi-Fi password as the gatekeeper? Luckily for us, there is. It is called MAC address.


MAC filtering to the rescue

Every piece of modern electronic equipment that can connect to the internet should come with its own Media Access Control (MAC) address, i.e. a unique set of identification characters that come in 6 “pairs” of characters (e.g FF), numbers (e.g 28) or one of each (e.g. G8). This allows a router to be set on MAC filtering mode which only allows intended devices with MAC addresses registered (manually by the Administrator) access to the Wi-Fi while keeping away thieves on the prowl!

Get the MAC addresses of your devices first

Before you start to activate MAC filtering, you should go and check out the MAC Addresses of all the mobile devices that your household has and jot these down in a physical notebook. Different operating systems will have different places where MAC Address of the device can be found.

For Android phones, this is “buried” under Settings → About phone → Status → WLAN MAC address.

For Kindle, you need to go to Settings → Wireless → Wi-Fi → select the top right “3 bottons” for additional settings → Advance Wi-Fi where MAC address is located.

For iOS devices, this site gives a very simple way to locate your MAC address.

Whichever device that you have, MAC address “comes” in as a “standard issue” for any Wi-Fi capable device and with a bit of probing, you should be able to find it. Once you have all the MAC addresses of your mobile devices which need Wif-Fi access, you can proceed to enable MAC filtering.

Relatively straightforward MAC filtering for TM’s DIR-615

MAC filtering1.png

You should choose ADVANCED → Advanced Wireless (on the left side bar).


Next, go to the section named WIRELESS MAC FILTER. Under SSID, you should choose the network that your router is associated, if you have only one network, there would be the only choice.

Then you should configure the wireless MAC filter under “Configure wireless MASS Filter Rules below:” and choose “Turn Wireless MAC Filter ON and ALLOW these computers access wireless”. This option will stop any devices not registered on your MAC filter list from connecting to your router.

The last part is to put in the 6 pairs of 2 characters MAC addresses of your chosen 10 devices in the next line under “MAC Address”. Note that the separator between each pair of characters for DIR-615 is a colon, “:”. Different routers use different separators!

When you have completed your list of 10 devices, you should click “Reboot” on the bottom of the left sidebar, then the router is now on MAC filtering mode.

What if my family has more than 10 mobile devices?

As TM’s DIR-615 restricts the number of MAC addresses that you can put in the list to just 10 which may not be enough for all the mobile devices that a modern family of four will have (4 smartphones, 2 tablets and 4 laptops and you have reached the limit!). If this is the case, like my family, and out of necessity to extend the range of our Wi-Fi coverage, we have another Wi-Fi router / extender which gives us another 14 slots! These extenders are relatively cheap nowadays.

No guarantee!

There is no guarantee that the thief or thieves who has/have been stealing my bandwidth will hack into my Wi-Fi routers again, but by doing the three steps, namely, changing the Admin password, changing the Wi-Fi password and dong MAC filtering to allow only “own” devices access to the Wi-Fi may keep the opportunistic thieves at bay. Of course the bets are off when there are more sophisticated thieves with better hacking software out there. However, if you do nothing, then the leakage of your bandwidth can surely affect the quality of your own broadband access which is not really cheap in Malaysia.